Our second climb with a mountain elevator. I was so looking forward to it. The Pitztal Glacier, the most up-high situated glacier of Tirol, was also on my ‘Austria travel bucket list’ for a long time. My parents were quite enthusiastic too about this icy idea, so we took the car and headed straight to the parking of the Glacier Express.
The Glacier Express is the highest cable car in Austria that takes visitors to the top of the Hinterer Brunnenkogel. We expected it to be in the sky like a simple mountain elevator, but we thought wrong, obviously. The Glacier Express happened to be underground! Tickets weren’t that cheap, but you have to be willing to do something for a glimpse of the most stunning views in the surroundings.
Anyways, after an eight-minute ride in the cable car, we arrived at the Pitztal Glacier on a height of 2840 m. From the moment I got of the elevator, I had the feeling that I found myself in a surreal land with violent rivers, iron rich stones, an outer space research centre and construction site and thin air. If I had Alzheimer, thus no idea how I got there, I would probably believe that I found myself on Mars. Pretty cool, but I had the feeling that this place had more in store for us.
We were looking for some hiking trails, but apparently there weren’t many options if it comes to walking over a pathway in this area. The trails are hardly visible, but then we noticed a small sign that showed us the route to an alm. The only problem is that it would take about 4,5 hours to get there and go back to the station, but we had only a few hours left to discover the surroundings, since the last ride back down was said to be at 4:30 P.M. We would never make it back in time, so we decided to do only a part of the trail. And so we continued our day trip…
As we went further, the landscape went through a huge transformation. The ground changed from sand into ice, I could sense the smell of the sea (although there was none nearby), the wind got colder, melting glacier water reached our toes and suddenly… we found ourselves in a winter scene. It was outstandingly beautiful, I had never seen something like that (which is probably because I’ve never been in a ski resort during winter season). We kept our eyes peeled, there was just so much sight-seeing.
After a while I noticed that my dog Odin slowed down, he didn’t wag his tail and stopped cheerfully eating ice like he used to in the beginning of our hike. No doubt his paws were hurting. As my mom thought the road was getting too dangerous and too slippery and as I felt sorry for my dog, we went back to get some drinks while the boys proceeded their hike. I was right about my dog, though. The moment our feet touched the sandy soil again, he could be himself again.
We were cheerfully talking about the great experience of that day, when my dad and my brother reconvened with us, pulling a long face. Apparently, the road was hardly usable because of the big holes, melting ice and slippy parts. What a pity! Luckily, I was still impressed with the view and did not mind so much that we hadn’t made it to the alm. Maybe I can come back sometime to do the complete hike…
This was, once again, a great day during our stay near Imst in Tirol, but a lot has yet to come.
Keep in touch to read more about my travel experiences and adventures!